A.M. Links: Taliban Storms Hotel North of Kabul, Moody's Downgrades Big Banks, Obesity Threatening Planet


  • The Taliban stormed a hotel north of Kabul, taking hostages, and fought with local security forces, who received NATO aerial support, for hours.

  • Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of Goldman Sachs, JP Mogran Chase, Bank of America, Barclay's, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and nine other banks because they "have significant exposure to the volatility and risk of outsized losses inherent to capital markets activities," Moody's global banking managing director Greg Bauer said.
  • Michael Bloomberg is still considering whether to sign a bill that increases penalties on taxi drivers convicted of felonies related to sex trafficking. The measure received a negative response at a public hearing and the mayor had previously said it's not always easy to tell who's a prostitute. Critics note cabbies may not want to pick women up late at night. But don't worry, says a city councilman: "The bill is very specific. This took months of negotiation. We did not want anyone singled out, and it does not single anyone out based on what they look like." Months of negotiations, people. You can't just let drivers pick pedestrians up and take them places in exchange for cash. This is New York!
  • A teacher would not apply sunscreen on a pair of students on a "field day" at the Washington school, even though one suffers from albinism and is sensitive to the sun, because that's the law, damn it.
  • A new study says obese people's extra weight is the equivalent of an additional 272 million people on the planet. "The ecological implications of rising population numbers will be exacerbated by increases in average body mass," the researchers said.
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder lost four games in a row for the first time in three years, losing the NBA Championship to the Miami Heat in the process. 

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